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Thread: Deck Repairs - Advise please

  1. #1
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    Default Deck Repairs - Advise please

    I've started to replace the deck planking at the stern.
    The is a piece of the planking removed from the deck today.
    I'll probably ending up replacing the entire deck.



    I've been told that the wood used on the deck is pitch pine. Is this a good choice for the new planking? Been given a price of $4.20 bft. for yellow pine. Is yellow pine and pitch pine the same?


    This photo shows where the plank above was removed from.


    This photo shows my view from the deck of Laura Ellen.

    The deck planks are approx 1" thick 2" wide, cotton caulking with pitch (boat glue) seam compound.

    Comments?
    Allan of the Grove
    "never send a ferret to do a weasel's job.."

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Deck Repairs - Advise please

    Nooooooooooooooooo. Yellow pine is not Pitch pine.....But Pitch pine is yellow pine.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Deck Repairs - Advise please

    Quote Originally Posted by Mrleft8 View Post
    Nooooooooooooooooo. Yellow pine is not Pitch pine.....But Pitch pine is yellow pine.
    Is pitch pine what I should use for the deck?
    I think I'm looking for a denser, rot resistant wood.
    Allan of the Grove
    "never send a ferret to do a weasel's job.."

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    Default Re: Deck Repairs - Advise please

    Douglas fir is reasonably close to pitch pine and makes for a good tough deck that can be left bare. You'll want vertical grain stock of course.
    For a more accurate measurement of how thick your deck was originally I'd check the thickness in an area up against a post or hatch that hasn't been sanded/worn away, like it probably has been out in an open area like where you pulled that first plank.
    Also be prepared that your deckbeams might need replacing. They can look fine from down below, but can prove to be quite a different story once the deck is off for inspection. Ask me how I know....

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Deck Repairs - Advise please

    The plank in your picture sure looks like Douglas fir to me...very nice vertical grain DF.

    The names people use for woods vary widely with region. Douglas fir is also known as some sort of pine in some quarters.

    The color is close to what we call heart pine down here but it's closer to DF IMO. If it has a strong smell of rosin and burns like a candle I'm all wet and it's heart pine.
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    Default Re: Deck Repairs - Advise please

    S/V,
    Looking at what you have in the pic is pretty hard to tell what it is. Could be Pitch, doug, spruce definately a conifer. Your best bet is to mail a hunk out to Bob Smalser and have him eyeball it for you, he should be able to tell you exactly what it is in relatively short order! I cant say if it is pitch only because of the very narrow grain however, that means almost nothing! I have about 10 pitch logs waiting top be milled and the grain on the stuff I have is fairly wide which leads me to believe that it is fairly fast growing tree. And pretty darn heavy! Best of luck with it!
    Paul

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    Default Re: Deck Repairs - Advise please

    Why not go with IPE decking?
    this is an ironwood, very stiff, durable and strong.
    http://www.ipedeckingsource.com/

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    Default Re: Deck Repairs - Advise please

    Allan, "Pitch Pine" is "Pinus Ridgiata" and it grows from Quebec to souther New York state, and over to Maine and Massachussets. It's generally a small twisty tree, and I doubt that your decking is made from that. It's also called "fat wood" or "candle wood" because it's resin content is so high that you can light it with a match very easilly. They used to make turpentine from this stuff. (maybe still do?)
    Southern Yellow Pine is a generic term for 3 or more varieties of pine that grow predominantly in the southern US states. In days of old, these were highly sought after for their strength and rot resistance. Unfortunately the stuff that's being milled now is very different, and probably not suitable for your deck. If you can find old reclaimed mill timbers that have been resawn, they might be good, but they'll also probably be very dry....

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    Default Re: Deck Repairs - Advise please

    Allan, what you're probably looking at is Fir, although it might be Lonfleaf pine. Cut a piece and give it the sniff test. If it's Longleaf, it will have an odor like pine scented cleaner. Longleaf will also feel heavy, with a yellowish color, whereas Fir will be lighter and orange colored.

    This outfit, on Cape cod, resaws old-growth Longleaf pine mill timbers, lots of them, and has a lot of resawn stock on hand. Hold on to your wallet, though.

    http://www.cataumetsawmill.com/
    Last edited by Jim Ledger; 03-18-2009 at 08:50 AM.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Deck Repairs - Advise please

    Paul Pless has been helping out at the boat shop the last couple of days. Over the last two days the deck removal has begun, deck hardware removed and the cockpit coaming has been unbolted and removed (the coming was also bonded to the deck and needed to be cut loose).

    The cockpit coaming:


    Winches removed:


    The deck after the coaming was removed:
    Allan of the Grove
    "never send a ferret to do a weasel's job.."

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    Default Re: Deck Repairs - Advise please

    Quote Originally Posted by S/V Laura Ellen View Post
    the coming was also bonded to the deck and needed to be cut loose
    'bonded'... Allan is a master of understatement....
    Last edited by Paul Pless; 03-21-2009 at 05:35 PM.
    Simpler is better, except when complicated looks really cool.

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    Question Re: Deck Repairs - Advise please

    How are you going to finish it?
    Paint?

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    Default Re: Deck Repairs - Advise please

    I always understood that ' pitch pine' was virtually unobtainable nowadays. Only found in reclaimed timber. People on the 'east side of the pond' have to replace with other timber. Or have I missed something?
    A

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    Default Re: Deck Repairs - Advise please

    Quote Originally Posted by Domesticated_Mr. Know It All View Post
    How are you going to finish it?
    Paint?
    I have not yet decided.
    Allan of the Grove
    "never send a ferret to do a weasel's job.."

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    Default Re: Deck Repairs - Advise please

    I did some work on a 1930's-era Norwegian government boat that the Norwegian owner, a well known builder named O. Lie-Nielsen, said was planked with "pitch pine," which I think he said grew in scandanavia and Scotland. It was resinous, with gnarly grain kind of like tamarack.

    Quite a few Herreshoff big boats were built with cedar decks. Years ago I sailed a long trip on a 65' schooner that had alaska yellow cedar decks. They were really nice. It's lovely wood to work. I think Port Orford cedar would work as well.
    White pine used to be the material of choice for decks, but that was old-growth stuff.
    A few years ago I had a 1933 63' power boat with all yellow pine planked hull, 2" thick, 32' long, and the broad strakes down by the keel were (no fooling) 12" wide. Wise men would look at those planks and opine that it would never work. Planks were too wide, they'd split. Even though the boat was 65 years old at the time, it was not going to work.
    However, she had some yellow pine in her decks, and that didn't work at all well. Rot would get started in one annual ring, and run along the plank its entire length.
    I know it will sound like apostasy, or worse, but I hate planked caulked decks. They leak. My personal all time choice would be marine plywood, which greatly stiffens a boat, sheathed with 1/4" thick vertical grain cedar, set in epoxy. Pretty, good footing, strong. Won't leak.

  16. #16
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    Default Re: Deck Repairs - Advise please

    The aft deck has now been removed, today I'll be cleaning up the area prepping for the installation of the new deck. All screw and nail holes need to be treated with CPES and filled.

    Allan of the Grove
    "never send a ferret to do a weasel's job.."

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    Default Re: Deck Repairs - Advise please

    That deck plank looks a lot like quarter sawn Port Orford Cedar to me. The real test is to smell a fresh cut off. It could also be Eastern White Pine. Herreshoff used quite a little of it for scrubbed decks. Alaskan yellow is a reasonable substitute for Port Orford and EWP. Weight is a factor that should also be considered. The cedars are light and rot resistant and therefor desirable for decks. Remember that your decking has been scraped and sanded down over the years. It may have started out three eights, or more, thicker than it is now. I would advise against using square seams and modern seam compound.
    I am now listening to an owner's tale of woe concerning a deck that is less than two years old that is now leaking and suffers from separation of seam compound. My prediction is that no amount of futzing with it will equal the quality of a tradtional laid deck that is caulked with cotton, primed with bee's wax and turpentine and payed with Jeffery's Marine Glue.
    Jay

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    Default Re: Deck Repairs - Advise please

    Much more important than the exact species of wood is the orientation of the grain. Notice in your plank (it has been mentioned by others) the vertical or quarter sawn grain orientation. Most of the shrinking/swelling happens along the grain line so the piece of wood you photographed changed primarily in thickness rather than width when it got wet/dry. The is one of the MOST important things when planking a deck that you hope will not leak. Some scandinavian boats are planked with tight grain quarter sawn wood and they are done tight seam with no caulking and they don't ever leak ..... amazing. You might consider plywood with a seamed teak overlay and get the best of both worlds. Stronger and dryer and about 20% of the labor.
    Have Fun!

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    Default Re: Deck Repairs - Advise please

    Quote Originally Posted by Jay Greer View Post
    I am now listening to an owner's tale of woe concerning a deck that is less than two years old that is now leaking and suffers from separation of seam compound. My prediction is that no amount of futzing with it will equal the quality of a tradtional laid deck that is caulked with cotton, primed with bee's wax and turpentine and payed with Jeffery's Marine Glue.
    Jay
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    Default Re: Deck Repairs - Advise please

    I have seen plywood overlaid decks fail many many times over the years I have been in the game of boat building. More often than not, the plywood rots out under the expensive overlay. Then there is hell to pay! That is exactly what is happening with the two year old deck I just mentioned. Though rot has yet to set in, something must be done to stop the leakage. The deck in question really needs to come up and be re-laid, correctly, with new wood. The current estimate is $40,000 to fix a problem that could have been avoided by the correct choice of construction and materials!
    Jay

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    Default Re: Deck Repairs - Advise please

    Quote Originally Posted by Jay Greer View Post
    ... the quality of a tradtional laid deck that is caulked with cotton, primed with bee's wax and turpentine and payed with Jeffery's Marine Glue.
    Jay
    Since the last traditional laid deck lasted 70+ years, I figured I will do it the same way.

    Jay:
    I have a lead on some yellow pine, but since it needs to be shipped, what terminology should I use to ensure I get the right wood, mill the right way?
    Can you please expound on the bee's wax and turpentine primer. What ratio is used between the two? Does it have to be heated to apply it or will the turpentine dissolve the wax?
    Thanks,
    Allan
    Allan of the Grove
    "never send a ferret to do a weasel's job.."

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    Default Re: Deck Repairs - Advise please

    I agree about caulked teak plank overlaid on ply.... Miserable way to waste good materials, money and labor making a void to hold water and promote rot.
    What I was suggesting as an alternative is something I have never used, but only heard about and seen at a distance. Could never afford to be in the same building with it. However the idea of the THIN layer of teak being bolded to the ply core is attractive. At some point the owners sand/scrub/hollystone through the veneer but then such is life.



    http://www.jamestowndistributors.com...h+Rubber+Inlay

    Bruynzeel Teak Decking is constructed from a core of Gaboon plywood with a durable Teak facing and anti-slip rubber inlays. These panels are designed for marine decking applications, but can also be used for bathrooms and swimming pools. Each sheet measures 250cm long x 122cm wide, and vary in thickness.

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    Default Re: Deck Repairs - Advise please

    Quote Originally Posted by George Ray View Post
    I agree about caulked teak plank overlaid on ply.... Miserable way to waste good materials, money and labor making a void to hold water and promote rot.
    What I was suggesting as an alternative is something I have never used, but only heard about and seen at a distance. Could never afford to be in the same building with it. However the idea of the THIN layer of teak being bolded to the ply core is attractive. At some point the owners sand/scrub/hollystone through the veneer but then such is life.



    http://www.jamestowndistributors.com...h+Rubber+Inlay

    Bruynzeel Teak Decking is constructed from a core of Gaboon plywood with a durable Teak facing and anti-slip rubber inlays. These panels are designed for marine decking applications, but can also be used for bathrooms and swimming pools. Each sheet measures 250cm long x 122cm wide, and vary in thickness.
    With great care, which presumably the person who did the work might exhibit, it would be possible to keep the ply veneer either oiled or varnished in good time (varnish would be better in this respect) and preserve the face of the deck for an extended period. But this would take a very committed and careful owner, and I myself would be reticent to take this approach anyway for a variety of other reasons.

    Re: Jeffries. The problem I have with it ( speaking of the modern approach/penchat to "showboat yacht" keeping) is that it softens and becomes like tar in hot weather. Or at least so I am told. And, I am reluctant to leave my boat's decks bare of finish, which is how I read the usual course when paying with Jeffries.

    I understand the efficacy of the product, and how these are choices to be made.

    We can put a man on the moon. Why can't we find a decent compound that will hold up for a reasonable period under varnish?
    Last edited by Lew Barrett; 03-31-2009 at 01:36 AM.

  24. #24
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    Default Re: Deck Repairs - Advise please

    FWIW--local "yellow pine" is not the longleaf yellow pine often used in southern boats and decks. "yellow pine" locally is the stuff often used in house porches, sometimes called southern yellow pine, and has little rot resistance--unlike longleaf pine, which hard and rot-resistant. I'm just guessing you are looking at SLP, as I've never seen longleaf pine in this area.

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    Default Re: Deck Repairs - Advise please

    Quote Originally Posted by George Ray View Post
    I agree about caulked teak plank overlaid on ply.... Miserable way to waste good materials, money and labor making a void to hold water and promote rot.
    What I was suggesting as an alternative is something I have never used, but only heard about and seen at a distance. Could never afford to be in the same building with it. However the idea of the THIN layer of teak being bolded to the ply core is attractive. At some point the owners sand/scrub/hollystone through the veneer but then such is life.



    http://www.jamestowndistributors.com...h+Rubber+Inlay

    Bruynzeel Teak Decking is constructed from a core of Gaboon plywood with a durable Teak facing and anti-slip rubber inlays. These panels are designed for marine decking applications, but can also be used for bathrooms and swimming pools. Each sheet measures 250cm long x 122cm wide, and vary in thickness.
    Lets see, you are advocating putting down a deck made of pre-faced plywood that looks like a traditional laid teak deck?
    If that is so, would you mind elaborating on how it can be nibbed into the covering boards or sprung and nibbed into the king plank?
    There is a company that will make up custom panels that are made from patterns taken from the actual boat.
    http://www.maritimewoodproducts.com/teakdecks.html
    Just our of curiosity, I checked in with them at one time and found that the process was more expensive than a correctly laid teak deck after all the fussing and fitting is over.
    I might mention that the former owner of my H28 "Bright Star" opted
    for this kind of deck in order to avoid removing the covering boards and bullwarks. The job looked good for some ten years but, I am now faced with the prospect of removing the deck house, covering boards and toe rails in order to get a decent job. The seams are not filled with proper seam compound but, rather black epoxy. The epoxy is letting go, no amount of care will allow it to be cleanly removed. And the decks are too thin now to be re-payed or servicable.
    I would like to shoot the S.O.B. that came up whith that idea!
    Jay
    Last edited by Jay Greer; 03-31-2009 at 01:21 PM.

  26. #26
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    Default Re: Deck Repairs - Advise please

    Quote Originally Posted by S/V Laura Ellen View Post
    Since the last traditional laid deck lasted 70+ years, I figured I will do it the same way.

    Jay:
    I have a lead on some yellow pine, but since it needs to be shipped, what terminology should I use to ensure I get the right wood, mill the right way?
    Can you please expound on the bee's wax and turpentine primer. What ratio is used between the two? Does it have to be heated to apply it or will the turpentine dissolve the wax?
    Thanks,
    Allan
    Dear Allan,
    First, make sure that the wood you are intending to use is true Southern Yellow Pine, (Pinus palutris) also known as "Pitch Pine" due to it's high resin content. It has been highly praised for much use in boat construction in the U.S. for nearly two hundred years. I have used it in all areas of construction from floor timbers, to hull planking and decking. The wood is highly rot resistand and actually relatively hard, even though it is classified as a soft wood. Tell your mill man that you want your wood quarter sawn to nearly square staves. This would mean that if your decking is two inches wide, it should be at least an inch and five eights thick with the grain orientation vertical on the thinnner section. It should also be milled so as to provide a V shaped caulking seam that begins from the bottom fourth of the planking and open to nearly three sixteenths of an inch when the planks are side by side. Once the staves are laid, the seams should be primed with a thin mixture of melted bee's wax and turpentine. This is best done with a brush known as a seam brush which, looks like an elongated tooth brush. Caulking should proceed while the primer is still wet. Often is is necessary to split cotton strands when caulking a deck as using too much cotton can lead to springing the deck too snug into the covering boards and starting the fastenings. In some cases, I have seen over zealous caulking drive the boards over the sheer strake. This is best accomplished with a caulking wheel or a #1 thin iron and a light mallet. If you do not have these tools, they are available through the Wooden Boat Foundation in Port Townsend WA. or on ebay from time to time.
    Once the seams are caulked, they should be then given a second coat of thin primer and allowed to dry at least a day or two. Then the seams should be payed with hot Jeffery's Marine Glue that is poured out of tin can with a crease in the rim to allow a thin pour. I usually tape off my seams in order to insure a cleaner job. The deck should not be walked on for several days, until the seams have had a chance to set. In rare instances if a seam should separate, it is a simple matter to run a hot paying iron down it and the compound will flow back where it belongs. While some posters fear that the seams will become too soft on hot days, I have not seen this happen, but, it should be a simple matter to set things right by sloshing down the decks with a bit of cold sea water in order to cool things down. I hope that this information is of some use to you.
    Jay

  27. #27
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    Default Re: Deck Repairs - Advise please

    Quote Originally Posted by Jay Greer View Post
    While some posters fear that the seams will become too soft on hot days.........


    A great post full of the information that makes coming here a treat, even if this poster is afraid of a hot day! Thank you as always, Jay. And that is quite sincerely tendered.

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    Default Re: Deck Repairs - Advise please

    Where do you find sea water to slosh down the decks with??

  29. #29
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    Default Re: Deck Repairs - Advise please

    Quote Originally Posted by Dan McCosh View Post
    Where do you find sea water to slosh down the decks with??
    There is a brine pond at work, I'll use some of it.

    Besides, it will get the environmentalist all worked up at the same time.
    Allan of the Grove
    "never send a ferret to do a weasel's job.."

  30. #30
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    Default Re: Deck Repairs - Advise please

    Jay,
    I don't mean to imply that that teak-bonded-overlay-ply is a best/great/only way to go. My comment was offered the spirit of options. The $$/sq_ft cost is so darn high that it is really just a rich person's game (or a wild eyed wooden boat lover) and at that point a properly done planked deck on a boat that was designed and built originally as planked deck does seem best. If you can find the people to do it right.
    Your comment's and insights are not to be dismissed by any means, but perhaps to be viewed with the knowledge that you are located in one of the small handful of places in the world were it is fairly easy to find someone to do a respectable job of this sort.

    I hate that the crafts of woodwork and boat building are becoming so scarce and I can saw a log and make trunnels if I had to (given a minimum of tools) but can't so easily and self reliantly make plywood and epoxy on my own. Having said that I hate it when my gear gets dripped on and it does kill a wooden boat (any boat) to have leaky decks.

  31. #31
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    Default Re: Deck Repairs - Advise please

    Quote Originally Posted by Dan McCosh View Post
    Where do you find sea water to slosh down the decks with??
    I trust your lake water is cool as well as is the sea.
    Fair Winds,
    Jay

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